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The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao  By  cover art

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

By: Junot Díaz
Narrated by: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Karen Olivo
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Publisher's summary

Read by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the Tony Award®-winning creator and star of the musical Hamilton, and Tony Award®-winning actress, Karen Olivo. This brilliant narration adds another layer of lyricism and depth to this Pulitzer Prize-winning classic novel.

Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight, lovesick Dominican ghetto nerd. From his home in New Jersey, where he lives with his old-world mother and rebellious sister, Oscar dreams of becoming the Dominican J. R. R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love. But he may never get what he wants, thanks to the Fuku: the curse that has haunted Oscar's family for generations, dooming them to prison, torture, tragic accidents, and, above all, ill-starred love. Oscar, still waiting for his first kiss, is just its most recent victim.

Diaz immerses us in the tumultuous life of Oscar and the history of the family at large, rendering with genuine warmth and dazzling energy, humor, and insight the Dominican-American experience - and, ultimately, the endless human capacity to persevere in the face of heartbreak and loss. A true literary triumph, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao confirms Junot Diaz as one of the best and most exciting voices of our time.

©2007 Junot Díaz (P)2016 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"An extraordinarily vibrant book that's fueled by adrenaline-powered prose... A book that decisively establishes [Diaz] as one of contemporary fiction's most distinctive and irresistible new voices." (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times)

"Diaz finds a miraculous balance. He cuts his barn-burning comic-book plots (escape, ruin, redemption) with honest, messy realism, and his narrator speaks in a dazzling hash of Spanish, English, slang, literary flourishes, and pure virginal dorkiness." (New York Magazine)

"Genius...a story of the American experience that is giddily glorious and hauntingly horrific. And what a voice Yunior has. His narration is a triumph of style and wit, moving along Oscar de Leon's story with cracking, down-low humor, and at times expertly stunning us with heart-stabbing sentences. That Diaz's novel is also full of ideas, that [the narrator's] brilliant talking rivals the monologues of Roth's Zuckerman - in short, that what he has produced is a kick-ass (and truly, that is just the word for it) work of modern fiction - all make The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao something exceedingly rare: a book in which a new America can recognize itself, but so can everyone else." (San Francisco Chronicle)